Council for Strategic Affairs

Council for Strategic Affairs

CSA Strategically Speaking Events & View Points


Once upon a time, a great King-Emperor with global imperial ambitions invaded India, the land of riches. He met with stiff resistance by a brave Hindu king who fought valiantly but was captured. When the victor faced the vanquished, he asked a very pointed question, “how should I treat you”. The vanquished Hindu king replied without batting en eye-lid, “Treat me as one king treats another king”. That was the encounter between Alexander, the great and King Puru or King Porus as the Greeks call him.
In 7th century CE, Muhammed Bin Qasim attacked the Indian province of Sindh from the west on behalf of the Caliph Umer. He was not successful the first time. Raja Dahir of Sindh was defeated eventually on the 15th time with stronger force and use of deception. His wife and two daughters Parimal Devi and Suraj Devi were taken as war booty for the Caliph along with thousands of other women and children taken as slaves. The story is recapitulated again in medieval times, when a king, not so great, with global imperial ambitions invaded India again and met with fierce resistance by another brave Hindu king. The Hindu king won the battle and in great Hindu liberal tradition, let the invading king go back to his native land. Next year, the invader attacked again and was defeated and let go. This happened for sixteen consecutive years. The seventeenth year the invading king defeated the Hindu King in Delhi, imprisoned him and took him back to his own capital and there he blinded the defeated Hindu king in both the eyes while keeping him as a prisoner. That was the victor’s justice meted to Prithavi Raj Chauhan by Muhammed Ghori.
The fact is that the Arab Imperialism started during the days of Calpih Umer, who had started conquering other countries. Since the days of Caliph Umer, Arab imperialism at its brutal best triumphed over the Asian countries because of its ruthlessness, barbarism and religious (Jihadi) fervor. Arab tribalism combined with ruthlessness, deception and Jihadi fervor created a potent imperialistic empire. The sad history of medieval (Islamic controlled) India is replete with tales of son imprisoning the father and killing the brothers brutally in order to gain the imperial throne. In the land of the pure, Pakistan since partition from India, there has not been any instance of democratic transition in a peaceful manner. Military might and brutal force has been the determinant of outcome from one military dominated regime to the next. The joke goes around, if one general does not go peacefully, he has to go the “Mango Crate” way like General Zia-ul-Haq who died under mysterious circumstances of plane crash caused by lethal gases emanating from the gift of mango crate.
The lot of celebratory noise in the West about the so-called Arab Spring is jarred by the barbarism shown by the victors in the rebellion, be it in Iraq or Libya. At least in case of Saddam Hussain there was a legal trial followed by judicial execution that was marred by jubilation and humiliation of the executed person. In case of Muammar Qadhafi, there are videos circulating on the inter-net with frame by frame analysis that show there was definite torture, sodomization with a stick or combat knife followed by public beatings, cold-blooded killing and shocking display of the dead body of Qadhafi for four and half days like an animal in a meat cold-storage. Whatever he did during his 42 years of despotic and brutal dictatorship is not being condoned here. The legal point is that Qadhafi was captured as a prisoner of war. Torture of POWs is not allowed under the Geneva convention. In this case of torture, NATO countries are complicit because they actively participated in aerial bombings of the Qadhafi convoy while he was trying to escape from Sirte, his home town. It is high time that the leaders of the high priests of international human rights industry, David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozi are hauled to the ICC in the Hague for their culpability in public torture and degradation of a prisoner of war in the 21st century.
The Qadhafi torture and killing was sheer re-enactment of the brutal drama that happened in Afghanistan in the nineteen nineties. After the Taliban captured the then Afghanistan president Najibullah, they killed him and mutilated his dead-body by removing his genitals followed by a gory public display of the Najibullah’s corpse on a public square. How does the NATO and the West justify such a naked display of barbarism in modern times? Arab culture still remains a tribal culture without modernization. Arabs and their cultural, religious and political descendants have historically displayed brutal barbarism at the time of transfer of power. Peaceful transfer of power in Arab countries is an exception rather than the rule. Arab spring is just simple nonsense being propagated by the Western interests to provide themselves with a fig-leaf in order to control the Arab hydrocarbon riches. The new set of Arab rulers being brought into power in these Arab countries are likely to be as ruthless as the dictators deposed. Already in the Tunisian elections, the Islamists won. The same story will be repeated in the yet to be held Egyptian elections. The Transitional National Council leader in Libya Mustafa Jalil has already gone on record that all the secular laws enacted under Qadhafi will be replaced by Shariat laws. Yemen, Bahrain and Syria are continuing with their genocidal civil war under the garb of Arab spring. There has been definitely brutal and ruthless foreign intervention by the Saudis and Pakistani forces in Bahrain to suppress the rebellion under the benevolent patronage of the West. The middle-east, aka Arab countries are likely remain mired in a permanent civil war of genocidal proportions.
Arab Spring is likely to lead to the eventual take-over of the middle-eastern countries by Islamist forces in the long run replacing the aging dynastic monarchs and military dictators. The new rulers will be more ruthless and more brutal than those who were replaced. With three exceptions (Israel, Iran and Turkey), all the middle-eastern countries are Arab. We witnessed the same phenomenon in Iran in 1979 when the authoritarian regime of Shah Raza Pehlavi was toppled by the Islamic revolution. The new Islamic revolutionary regime headed initially by Ayatollah Khomeini and now by Ayatollah Khamnaei has been more brutal than the Shah Pehlavi. There have been more deaths and killings in Iran since 1979 after the Islamic regime took over as compared to Shah’s time. Iran is technically not an Arab country but besides geographic proximity the other common factor is the Shariat law enshrined in the Iranian Islamic regime. In Afghanistan, there was respect for women under the Soviet sponsored communists and even under the Najibullah regime. Once the Taliban took over, the women were relegated to the Burqa and lost all their dignity and independence. Even under the so-called democratic regime of Hamid Karzai sponsored by the US the Afghan women have continued to languish behind the Burqa without any civil or human rights. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia still does not allow women to drive independently. In the next decade, the middle-east is unlikely to be a modern and civilized place with respect for human rights and devoid of barbarism and authoritarianism.
The neo-cons and arch-conservatives like Charles Krauthammer in the US have justified the treatment meted to Qadhafi by rationalizing that he brought it upon himself. Western governments including the US have rationalized these brutalities as the “fog of war” knowing fully well that they have both responsibility and culpability. The political neo-liberals and the leftists in India will continue to rationalize and defend the Arab barbarism and the Islamist imperialism using sophistry and the silly doctrine of “secular fundamentalism”. India needs to brace herself for renewed terror assaults from her Western land borders and coasts by yet more Jihadi terrorists because they will be launched not just from the safe havens in Pakistan but also from the newly installed Islamist regimes all over the Middle-east and South-West Asia under the garb of Arab Spring. Time has come to call a spade a spade. There are cultural differences in various parts of the world including the middle-east and South-West Asia. Let us not forget what George Santayana said once: “Those who fail to learn from the lessons of history are condemned to repeat it”.

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